Brave Combo returns to Greater Lafayette

from Lafayette Journal & Courier on

Sometimes it pays to keep your band going for 30 years.

And in Brave Combo's 30 years, the polka band from Denton, Texas, has picked up some very famous fans.

Carl Finch, the last founding member of the Grammy Award-winning group, ranked David Byrne's wedding as one of his favorite shows.

"We played on all Talking Heads gear," remembered Finch from his Texas home. "(Talking Heads drummer) Chris Frantz's floor tom still had the set list on it (from the Stop Making Sense Tour). (Former Brave Combo bassist) Bubba (Fernandez) played on Tina Weymouth's bass."

Brave Combo has many fans in Greater Lafayette as well, including the Friends of Bob live music co-op. Brave Combo played the group of local music fans' 10th anniversary bash in 2004. The band will be back at 8 p.m. Friday at Lafayette Brewing Company, 622 Main St.

Over the years, Brave Combo has added numerous sounds to its polka base: Cha cha, swing, waltz, funk and rock have helped hook listeners immediately. "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening has become a Brave Combo addict and got the band to "appear" in a 2004 episode. The band performed a song at the Springfield Oktoberfest and did the "Simpsons" theme during the closing credits. Finch said the band was to send in images of themselves so they could be Simpsonized.

"I didn't know my hair was receding so much, frankly," Finch laughed. "If Matt Groening decides you're his favorite band, then that could happen. He showed up to our gigs in California. Then he's inviting us to his house. Then he's booking us oddball gigs and then we're playing 'The Simpsons' ' 200th episode party at House of Blues."

Bob Dylan said Brave Combo influenced his 2009 polka tune "Must Be Santa" for the "Christmas in the Heart" release.

Finch said endorsements from Dylan and appearing on "The Simpsons" carry much more weight than a Grammy Award. The band has won two of those for best polka album in 1999 and 2005, but fans n

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